Senate Republicans Try a New Tactic to Overturn Biden’s Student Loan Plan
(Bloomberg) -- Senate Republicans are attempting to overturn President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program by deploying a procedural tactic that allows them to avert a filibuster and pass it by a simple majority.
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Senators Bill Cassidy, John Cornyn and Joni Ernst introduced the Congressional Review Act resolution singling out Biden’s 2022 executive order, which would forgive as much as $20,000 in student loan debt per borrower. The program, which is currently blocked while it awaits a Supreme Court ruling, is limited to those that make less than $125,000 a year for individuals or $250,000 for households.
Opponents of the student forgiveness program argue that it is unfair to borrowers who have already paid back their debt or took measures to avoid accruing student loan debt.
“President Biden is not forgiving debt, he is shifting the burden of student loans off of the borrowers who willingly took on their debt and placing it onto those who chose to not go to college or already fulfilled their commitment to pay off their loans,” Cassidy, the top Republican on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said overturning Biden’s student debt relief program would harm students of color, the children of immigrants and middle class families.
“It’s hard to believe that at a time when millions of Americans are struggling with student debt, Republicans are showing how callous and uncaring they are by trying to block debt relief that would literally transform the lives of so many for the better,” he said on the Senate floor Monday.
Black college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than White college graduates, according to the Education Data Initiative.
The Government Accountability Office determined earlier this month that the student loan forgiveness plan is subject to the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn rules issued by federal agencies.
At least 30 senators must sign the petition to bring it to the floor. With the Democrats’ 51-49 Senate majority, the resolution would need some Democratic support to get the requisite 51 votes. It’s unclear whether all Senate Republicans will support it.
--With assistance from Laura Litvan.
(Updates with Schumer, starting in fifth paragraph.)
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